Market requirements increasingly demand powerful solutions but always with the constraint that they may not exceed the cost limits of the target markets. When attempting to balance these apparently conflicting requirements it is important to take a holistic view and look at the “total system” aspects of a solution to achieve key optimizations.

This article is partly based on general observations of the industrial market&#151a market that is known for an almost unlimited range of solutions which in turn are based on a huge variety of system partitioning and architectural implementations, each potentially based on a host of different processors. You can find everything from modified PC solutions (of any generation), through less familiar and exotic, often proprietary, devices and to a range of standard products in the 8-, 16- and increasingly in the 32-bit arena. The industrial market tends to use those solutions which are the most cost effective rather than the most elegant and it is generally assumed that vendors to the industry have done their home work regarding the required quality and service levels and that the solutions offered can support continuous operation for many years.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 5, No. 2, 2006